Report Summary

Title: Healthcare Inspection – Alleged Delays in Notifying Patients of Biopsy Results, W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center, Salisbury, NC
Report Number: 13-00940-193
Issue Date: 5/13/2013
City/State: Salisbury, NC
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Healthcare Inspections
Report Type: Healthcare Inspections
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: OIG conducted an inspection in response to a complaint concerning delays in reporting biopsy test results to patients and possible delays in treatment at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center, Salisbury, NC. We substantiated the allegation that the facility was not timely in notifying patients of biopsy test results. However, we did not substantiate that resulting treatments were delayed. In addition, we identified that notification procedures for new malignancies found during outpatient test biopsies were not included in the facility’s critical biopsy policy. We recommended that procedures be implemented to ensure that patients receive timely notification of biopsy test results, notifications be documented in patients’ electronic health records, performance improvement procedures be adjusted to include periodic monitoring of test result communication to patients, and the facility’s written policy for critical test results be revised to include outpatient biopsy test results. Management agreed with the findings and recommendations and provided an acceptable improvement plan.